I wrote a blog post about an article I read, but then, fearing the knock of the Gestapo, I decided I probably shouldn't share it. So instead I'll write something that will anger the Gaystapo instead: religious liberty laws are not Jim Crow laws.
Marriage has always been a sacrament of the church. It became an interest of the state because it changes the social structure so dramatically. There was a big difference between the proper behavior of a married person and that of a single person, so many laws used marital status as a criterion for application. But the state was never the origin of marriage, and changing the state definition of marriage just means the state is going to be misusing a term.
Would it were that simple. The problem is that the new state definition will be (is being) used to undermine the religious definition. The rights of churches and their members to define marriage is being removed.
A baker says, "I make wedding cakes." A gay couple says, "Make us a wedding cake." The baker says, "I make wedding cakes, not whatever-the-state-is-recording cakes." The gay couple says their civil rights have been violated.
How does one have a right in the action of another? This is having a right to enslave. Yeah, I know that's the way the legislation was written 50 years ago, but that doesn't mean it's not nuts.
A baker refusing to serve a gay couple? That's wrong and should be illegal. A baker refusing to serve a gay wedding cake? That's a matter of conscience in which the baker should have his rights protected.
A pizza parlor refusing to serve a black family? Wrong. A pizza parlor refusing to cater a Black Panthers gathering? Matter of conscience.
A florist refusing to serve women? Wrong. A florist refusing to produce floral arrangements for a NARAL meeting? Matter of conscience.
I think the reason some Americans can't get this is because they can't believe anyone can ever disagree with them unless it is based on bigotry. (This is why so many people can't get their heads around the possible existence of ANY non-racist reason to opposed Barack Obama.)